News / Africa

US Urges Immediate North-South Sudan Talks on Abyei Crisis

US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson (file photo)
US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson (file photo)

The United States is calling for immediate talks between the leaders of northern and southern Sudan to resolve a territorial dispute that threatens the peaceful secession of the south on July 9th. Two senior U.S. envoys visited Khartoum Wednesday to underscore U.S. concern.

The State Department’s chief Africa diplomat is calling for emergency north-south Sudanese talks to settle a crisis over the disputed Abyei region that threatens the country’s six-year peace process.

Southern Sudan is due to become an independent state July 9th to climax fulfillment of the country’s 2005 Comprehensive Peace Accord, the CPA.

A relatively-smooth implementation process was jolted in last month when northern troops seized most of the Abyei region, an oil-rich area in the central part of the country that remains in dispute.

At a press event here, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson reiterated U.S. condemnation of the northern military move.

He called on Sudanese President Omar el-Bashir and southern leader Salva Kiir to hold immediate talks on ways to restore calm, uphold the CPA, and recommit to a peaceful resolution of the Abyei issue.

“We are deeply concerned about the situation in Abyei, and in southern Sudan," said Carson. "We want to do as much as we possibly can between now and July 9th to assure that the Comprehensive Peace Agreement is fully complied with. We want to see a withdrawal of Sudanese troops from the areas of Abyei. And we are looking for both senior leaders to meet together to discuss how to defuse tensions between the two parties, and to fully implement the remaining items that have to be complied with to complete the CPA.”

Carson said the same message was conveyed by Obama counterterrorism adviser John Brennan and U.S. Sudan Special Envoy Princeton Lyman in talks with senior officials in Khartoum Wednesday.

Brennan will go on to the Gulf region for talks while Lyman will remain in the region to work with the Sudanese parties, the African Union and the United Nations to address the Abyei crisis.

The Obama administration has held out the removal of the Khartoum government from the U.S. list of State Sponsors of Terrorism - the SST - and normalization of relations with Sudan, as incentives for allowing the peaceful independence of the south.

Carson indicated strongly that the north’s seizure of Abiyei jeopardizes the terrorism list issue and the promised U.S. roadmap to normalized ties.

“The review and the basis for taking them off the list  are defined legislatively, and that will be the most important guidepost," he said. "They have to meet the legislative  requirements for being taken off the SST. But there is no doubt that the events of the last several weeks do undermine people’s confidence in the commitment to follow through on the road map that was laid out some months ago.”

To remove Sudan from the terrorism list, and lift associated sanctions, the Obama administration would have to certify to Congress that the Khartoum government has not been involved in any recent acts of terrorism.

The United States has not had an ambassador in Khartoum since 1998, though it has a diplomatic mission there. It has recently opened a mission in the southern capital, Juba, and has promised to recognize an independent South Sudan in July.

You May Like

UN Ambassador Power Highlights Plight of Women Prisoners

She launches the 'Free the 20' campaign, aimed at profiling women being deprived of their freedom around the world More

Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

A slight delay in a satellite launch lit up the Florida sky early this morning More

Fleeing IS Killings in Syria, Family Reaches Bavaria

Exhausted, scared and under-nourished, Khalil and Maha's tale mirrors those of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries who have left their homes in the hopes of finding a better life More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs